We have been blessed by the visit last year of Pastor Harvey who has traveled the world teaching on the Holy Spirit. Kent and Harvey have been working on a way to connect the people of our churches on a series of Zoom calls. The idea is to seek non-partisan, Christian unity in a polarizing time of racial division. Participants will be listening to each other first, without reacting. The goal is to seek to uncover the unity we have in Jesus Christ that transcends cultural, ethnic, and political differences and to learn from the personal experiences of others whose life experiences are very different from ours. Our hope is that approaching issues from a Christian perspective rather than a political one practical steps will emerge that we can take in both churches to promote unity and understanding and seek greater justice in our world. We are seeking to join in fellowship our predominantly white, suburban liturgical church, with Citadel of Faith which is a multi-ethnic, inner-city church in Detroit that is part of the Evangelical Covenant Church denomination.
Partnership with Citadel – As we begin our partnership with Citadel of Faith this week, we are publishing the Mission Statement for this Partnership, as well as the meeting procedures, and member pledge. These have been developed in collaboration between our two churches. They are printed below and will be posted on our website. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit comes to lead us and bless this initiative.
Citadel of Faith and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Gladstone, NJ
Christian Collaboration for Positive Change
The Mission Statement and purpose for this collaboration is to create meaningful, positive change for all people. The main focus will be on creating and establishing opportunities, equity, and tangible solutions to promote justice and to eradicate systemic racism and poverty in the African-American community and in other underserved communities within our country.
This collaboration seeks to promote understanding of different perspectives and experiences related to racial and cultural differences. Lastly members will seek unity in Christ and alignment on what the problems are, and then how to address the problems from a Christian non-partisan perspective.
- Each meeting will be scheduled in advance (once per month) and will include a specific topic of reference for discussion. Members will prepare prior to each meeting in order to have a substantive discussion based on that topic.
- Each meeting will begin and end with a prayer
- Every member’s opinion matters equally; we want everyone to be heard
- Only one person speaks at a time
- Listen first without reacting
- If I disagree, first be able to state back what the person just said. I will validate their feelings even if I disagree
- Comments are confined to the current issue
- Discussion should alternate between pro and con arguments
- No verbal attacks of other members
- We assume that everyone speaks from a place of good intent
- Stay focused on relevant matters